In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
©1996 George R.R. Martin, (P)2003 Books On Tape, Inc., published in arrangement with Random House Audio Group,a division of Random House, Inc.
"Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes...He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least." (Publishers Weekly)
"The first volume in Martin's first fantasy saga combines intrigue, action, romance, and mystery in a family saga." (Booklist)
"Grabs hold and won't let go. It's brilliant." (Robert Jordan)
"This novel is an absorbing combination of the mythic, the sweepingly historical, and the intensely personal." (Chicago Sun-Times)
the story itself.... i actually don't enjoy the narration as much as i wish i did.
none, really. this is not, ordinarily, my genre of choice, but i enjoy the tv show & wanted to read the book (it only seems right, right?). this first book is exactly the same as the first season of the tv show, so if you've seen it, you know what's coming. what i DID like, however, was (as was told to me by a friend in a similar position), the book helps clear up and make more tangible, the back story, which the tv show has to speed past or takes for granted-- so I appreciated that.
yes. the pace in general was fine, but there are moments when the sentences seem to take him too long to get through. like he's tired or his throat hurts... it affects the flow of the moment.
overall i think dotrice's performance is a little strange. some of his character voices are very hard to listen to. i cringed anytime the crow would start cawing-- the recording seemed to get louder and his voice (the "crow's" voice) was just so grating. a few of his characters' voices sound like they have a lump of phlegm caught in their throats and i found myself hoping they'd stop talking soon too. his female voices are ok, but a little... basic. his Tyrion & Ned Stark were my favorites to listen to. i noticed a number of "weirdnesses" that i was surprised weren't edited or re-recorded. there are a number of times when he (in a single paragraph) will mis-pronounce joffrey as "jeffery" or jeff instead of joff. he also makes the mistake of reading a piece of exposition in a "voice" instead of just his own narrator voice, so it'll sound, for a sentence or a few words, like a woman is saying the stage direction in addition to the line, for example. i ended up being overly aware of those mis-steps, which was irksome.
***:::::SPOILER::::**** yes... *the* scene with ned was very well written & read.
im still going to get the other books, because this is the primary way i have time to read now. hoping the narration will get tighter as it goes along. or at least, that the crow isn't in the story too much longer.
I've listened to people on the trains talk about the HBO version of this book for over a year now. I've also seen many people reading the books. I decided to read the books because reading the book first always fills in the gaps the TV/movie version always leaves out. Here I was not disappointed. The storyline is very in depth with it all being weaved together very carefully. Here we meet some of the main characters of the story line and we see some depart as with all stories. We see where one persons actions long ago affect everyone today. For those that have seen the TV show and not read the book I recommend reading it. Here you will learn more than anyone watching the TV show and when it comes to discussion you'll have a better understanding of the whole story better than anyone watching the show. I'm now in book two and enjoying it quite a bit.
Avid reader through college now with no time to read. Audiobooks saved my life!
First off, I have read and now listen to a ton of sci-fi and fantasy books. This seemed right up my alley but for some reason, I could never work up to caring about most of the characters or story line. Yes, there were some good set-pieces in the plot and some things that "worked" for me but overall, I found this book slow and tedious. I didn't make it through the 3rd book, just not willing to invest all the time in the parts I didn't like just to get back to the ones I did. Like Tom Clancy, Martin seems to like to interweave very dull, boring plot elements/characters with more interesting ones, almost as if the dull creates artificial interest in the better parts.
When you compare this series to something like The Way of Kings or The King Killer Chronicles, well, to me there is no comparison. Game of thrones has some sex, violence and I guess enough characters to appeal to just about anyone. The problem is that if you are like me, there is bound to be parts of this book/series, large parts where you are just not interested.
Oh, and add to that the fact that after 2.5 of these books, I still have absolutely no idea what they are about or where the story is going. I get the basic plot but it has to be more about in fighting between families and the change of the weather. Seriously?
I have never read the print version. I've only seen the TV series
All of the characters are narrated in a personal way that it makes you feel like you're listening to different people speaking. The story really comes alive.
I haven't listened to any other of his stories but because of my experience here, I'm looking forward to getting more in the series.
It's already a hit TV series so I fail to see the point of adding a tag line
I was very impressed with this experience. I took the free trial and decided to use my free credit on a story that I already knew well in case I wouldn't be able to follow along or get lost between 'reading' breaks. However the story was so well narrated that I couldn't stop listening. It's one thing to have a great story but having a great reader in Roy Dotrice is what makes it worth it. Each character has their own personality beyond the text because of the different voices and cadence he uses. Listening to this book was like listening to someone actually telling me a story.
Say something about yourself!
I was pretty skeptic coming in, I didn't really like the TV series. I mean, I didn't hate it, I thought it was ok, but always found it a bit slow paced and laborious to watch. It might be just that my English isn't good enough to appreciate all the twists and turns of the conspiracies and plottings of the world. I have always disliked scheming, it might be because I'm not smart enough but there you go.
When I then was told I should read this as a book, I thought it would be even more boring. My wife insisted I should read it and involuntarily I agreed.
It was pretty much as I had thought, the story rolled on pretty much as it did on TV. Something was different though, I'm not sure why but somehow everything just worked better. It might be that I was prepared for the things I hated on the television series. I still think some characters are killed too soon. I understand why, but it just seems like a dick thing to do, to give you one nice character and then kill him right away just to make the point that you can't be nice in this world, as it's ruled by assholes. I mean I get it, but it just made me angry, guess it was supposed to...
And I think therein lies the greatness of the book, you really feel the character and sympathize with them. Every character in diverse and realistic. Even the scheming feels pretty much as I think it must have been in the politics of middle age courts.
One thing that I think is even greater than the book itself is the narrator. Holy crap. This guy was amazing! I would easily recommend anyone to listen, rather than to read this book. He has a different voice for every character, he laughs when they laugh and cries when they cry. If anyone ever deserved full points for anything, surely it's Roy Dotrice for his epic work here.
It's a great book. I stand corrected after listening through, and instantly bought the next book. Also I think this book has changed my mind about scheming a bit too, Therion Lannister is such a great character, I quite like following his plotting. Maybe in the following books I even grow to like Varys and Little finger too.
Expect the unexpected
There are none.. George RR Martin takes you on a ride like none you've been on before in the epic fantasy world.
If you're a fan of a narrated by someone who has the ability to slip into seemingly countless characters, Roy is your man.. If you find this style bothersome, you'll be in for a long listen.
**Warning, while a great book, know this is the first book of the series and that you're about to be hooked on them. You're going to think that GRRM is the greatest fantasy writer of our time, and you'll be right, that is until you're caught up with the current work, then get yourself a rocking chair, some yarn, a hot mug of angst and settle yourself down for a loooonnnnnnnnggggg wait before you will see the next book.. Mr Martin, while brilliant, gives off the feeling as if he's no longer interested in finishing this story and I imagine his publisher has had to stand over him for the entire six years it took for him to finish A Dance With Dragons, the fifth volume. If you're new to A Game of Thrones, count yourself lucky as now that Martin has the HBO show breathing down his neck, he might find more interest in finishing what he started because of that golden carrot dangling in front of his nose. No new books, no show, no payments and no one talking about how great he is.
I love to find a long audible saga that I can fall away into. This is among the top of that list. Other sagas I have enjoyed: Dune series (Herbert) and Dark Tower series (King) are similar to Game of Thrones in that the span long period of time, involve quality research and are incredibly thought provoking. If you love a rich tale, you are in for a treat! My wife and I read at the same time and discussed the characters, our favorites, etc. We both felt enriched by the stories. The naration is very good, not great. Roy does a nice job, but changes voices and in one book it really screwed me up. Not everyone can be George Guidall. I would listen to him read the phone book! Enjoy!
Once I sorted through all the characters, I was addicted to this novel. The performance was captivating. Once finished, I instantly downloaded book 2.My only frustration with the audio book is that the chapters of the book did not line up with the audio performance, so if I wanted to listen to a chapter again then it was difficult to find the exact beginning of a chapter.
Dramatization of different characters. A difficult feat with the complexity and numerous characters.
The book is much, much better than the HBO series.
Say something about yourself!
It's "Lord of the Rings" meets "The West Wing". Completely entertaining!
What's not to like?
Jamie Lannister. Detestable character, but incredibly compelling performance by Mr. Dotrice.
I had an extreme reaction alright: I LOVED THIS STORY!!!
Yes I would try another book from Martin and Dotrice. In fact I'm on the third book!
No one he is fantastic!
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